Is Raw Hinting At A Surprise Survivor?
By Ryan Satin
While many fans think Lana being put through a table every week is some sort of punishment from management, my optimistic mind sees things much differently.
To me, this whole story looks like it could be setting up the biggest moment of her singles career later this month at Survivor Series.
The table saga began in September after a match on Raw, when Nia Jax hit a Samoan Drop on “The Ravishing Russian” through a table to send a message to the Riott Squad.
But then the targeted attack continued.
And continued …
Now we’re at eight consecutive weeks of Lana being put through a table, and I feel like this story could be hinting at something no one wants to point out.
Brace yourselves for these next three words.
Sole Survivor Lana.
If you haven’t smashed your screen yet, let me continue.
The 35-year-old polarizing WWE star has played her part perfectly since arriving on the main roster with former WWE star Rusev in 2014.
I guarantee every single person reading this has had a strong reaction to something she’s said or done in a promo, posted on social media, or acted out on WWE TV in a segment.
Over the years, the manager has proven to be more than just an updated version of Ivan Drago’s wife from Rocky IV.
She’s now become a utility player for WWE who can be used effectively in whatever role they give her.
That’s why I think the next role she’s being given is babyface.
With Rusev no longer in WWE, the time is right for the next stage of her character’s evolution – becoming a full-time wrestler.
However, since Lana hasn’t been much of an in-ring threat over the years, it actually makes sense to position her as a babyface who has to overcome the odds if she’s to wrestle regularly.
And in the two months of this ongoing table drama, so far, people do actually seem interested in whether she’ll eventually get comeuppance on Nia Jax or not.
This can be attributed to a few things.
The first is how well Lana has been selling each attack.
The helpless screams. The flailing around. The pained reactions. Her lifeless body on the ground after going through the table.
All of this has made you feel for her character.
I’ve even caught myself laughingly yelling “NO!” at my TV in her defense as Nia and Shayna Baszler prep the table for smashing.
An additional part of fan interest in this story can be chalked up to the conspiracy theory from fans that the repeated table spots are “punishment.”
This has become one of the lucky instances where fan speculation has almost helped a storyline as opposed to hurt it.
These fans now want to see if the story will actually have a rewarding payoff, which would dispel their theory, or end like the Liv Morgan love triangle angle without any real resolution.
This also led to a Raw Women's title match recently for Lana that might not have lasted long, but effectively proved she's made strides to improve in the ring.
With Lana on Team Raw for Survivor Series, I could see a possible scenario playing out to her benefit:
As the last members of their team, Lana finally stands up for herself by causing Nia Jax to get eliminated from the match.
Then, Jax’s attempt at revenge backfires, which somehow allows Lana to win the match for their team.
SOLE SURVIVOR LANA.
This newfound confidence in her abilities could be the change of fate her character needs in order to somewhat believably turn the tables on Nia and Shayna.
If fans buy into it enough, it could even lead to a tag team title run for her and a worthy partner.
You may scoff at this notion, but Lana has a big audience.
Her social media numbers are huge on every platform and that audience should be utilized more in an crowdless era.
TikTok especially is something people are addicted to these days, and she has over a million followers on there alone.
Plus, in some ways, this whole story sorta mirrors Lana’s career.
Much like Nia Jax’s character on Raw, a portion of wrestling fans don’t believe Lana belongs in the business.
Because of this, she isn’t given the same respect as other performers, even though she’s dedicated her life to WWE.
This is mirrored in her current story, as Nia is continually trying to push her out of the business by proving she’s not tough enough … yet Lana keeps coming back for more due to her passion for wrestling.
This resiliency now causing some of her Survivor Series teammates to change their opinion of her in the story also helps to convince the general public that they should do the same.
This is classic babyface building and so far it lowkey seems to be working. We just haven't realized it yet.
If WWE plays their cards right, fans could actually be cheering for Lana as a wrestler by the time audiences return.
It’s also possible my optimistic mind is very wrong and Lana just gets smashed through tables for eternity while being boo’ed by the crowd forever.
Either way, it’ll be fun to watch.